By   February 14, 2019

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Supercar

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Supercar

Note: This text is based on the video below. If you would prefer to skip the reading then go straight to the video (or skip the video and just read).

Supercars, they are the car heros we all dreamed of driving when we were kids. When they first were released the cost of entry was out of reach of most of us enthusiasts. Fortunately, depreciation has made a number of cars that most of us could only dream of owning well within reach.

Here are the top 5 Affordable Supercars for 2019.

5. Chevrolet Corvette Z06

First up we have the 1999-2004 C5 Corvette Z06. Sure later Z06 variants offer more power, but the C5 is currently one of the best performance car values on the used market. The Z06 is Corvette’s equivalent to the Porsche 911 GT3. As such it strucks enough supercar status to make this list, although its plain Jane looks will leave some looking at other options.

What you get:
385 – 405 earth rotating horsepower mated to an old fashion 6-speed manual transmission. 0-60 mph times of about 4.5 seconds and a quarter mile time in the 12 seconds are some of the performance highlights. Stock the C5 Z06 comes with a titanium exhaust that sounds like it came from heaven without any modifications.

The LS6 V8 is tough as nails and doesn’t need any major service before 100K miles. It is also able to take some modifications without greatly sacrificing reliability. As a result of this a number of C5 Z06s have been supercharged and can put out about 600 horsepower to the rear wheels. Of course if you do this you’ll need to budget for tires as the ones on this ‘Vette will attempt to commit suicide.

The watch outs:
While the engine is the star of the show, the interior let’s down the supercar feel. There are plenty of plastics (as is common with this era of car) and most would probably hold up better if they were sourced from a power wheels. The good news is parts are relatively cheap, so replacing the plastic pieces that will break won’t cost the kid’s college fund.

The ride is stiff as it was made for the track. As a result you’ll be able to feel anytime you run over a leaf. After a long drive you’ll even be able tell the type of tree that it came from. Speaking of leaves, the suspension uses leaf springs. This is an unusual setup for a high performance car and handling is less poised when compared to cars like the Porsche 911. However, the cornering is still good enough to let you embarrass plenty of guys who spent much more on their toy.

Current market price range: A well maintained 1999 – 2004 Corvette Z06 will cost between $15,000 – $25,000.

4. Dodge Viper

The Dodge Viper helped put American supercars on the map. The brute force of the snake along with its eye grabbing style sets it apart from other performance cars. The first generation 1992 – 1995 cars have become very reasonably priced as of late.

What you get:

A V10 sitting up front pumping out a ground shaking (at least for the time) 400 horses and of course the cool (unless you accidentally touch it) side exhaust. The first generation cars have a removable convertible top from a Jeep, so let’s just say don’t leave anything valuable in the car. The gen. 1 Viper offered what was world class performance at the time when it was introduced. 0-60 mph takes just 4.8 seconds. The big problem is the handling of that big V10 can get scary very quickly. The Viper name is fitting as this car is ready to bite at any moment. It must be driven with caution and respect.

The watch outs:

Much of the inside plastic switches are sourced from Chrysler products and they can fall apart. The good news is they don’t cost a lot to replace.

The head gasket is an item of concern and it is recommended that you replace it every 20K miles. Otherwise you may be riding home in a tow truck instead of an awesome supercar.

The long hood may look incredible, but it is another expensive part to replace. Try to keep folks from sitting on it (as many will try to get that perfect Instagram photo) and don’t wreck it or it will cost you about $15,000 for a replacement!

Current market price range: Gen 1 Dodge Vipers are currently selling for between $24,000 and $35,000 depending on the mileage and condition.

3. Maserati GranTurismo

The 2007-2010 Maserati GranTurismo is an Italian exotic that is highlighted by an intoxicating exhaust note. The engine sitting in front is a version of the Ferrari F136 that is also featured in the F430. Because it sits up front, unlike in the middle with the F430, the engine doesn’t need to be removed to replace the belts.

The GranTusimo is one of those cars that makes you look rich even if you aren’t. When new they were very expensive, but as with all the cars on this list depreciation has reared its ugly head (or beautiful head for us looking to buy). Even so, styling of the GranTurismo from the earliest cars to more resent hasn’t changed all that much and you’ll get a good amount of attention when driving around in this Italian sports car.

What you get:

For the standard GranTurismo you get a 4.2-liter V8 with 399 horsepower on tap. This helps the Maserati launch from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds; all while turning heads from that symphony coming from the back of the vehicle.

The GranTurismo is also a fairly practical performance car. There is a back seat that even has cup holders. While it is cramped for larger passengers, hauling a few children around is no problem. Just make sure to dial down the spirited driving or you could be cleaning the kids lunch off of the leather seats.

The watch outs:

The big watch out with the Maserati GranTurismo is maintenance costs. While the GranTurismo costs less to keep on the road than a Ferrari from the same time period, parts still aren’t inexpensive and labor rates will cost you. Plan an average of $2,000-$4,000 a year, with some years being more and some being less, for maintenance costs.

Current market price range:

A 2007 – 2010 Maserati GranTurismo will cost between $22,000 – $55,000 depending on the year, mileage and condition. The earlier cars tend to cost the least and there are a number of them going for about $25,000 with under 40,000 miles on them.

2. Porsche 911 Turbo (996)

The Porsche 911 Turbo has long been the model in the 911 lineup that rivals Italian supercars (outside of the GT2 and GT3). The 996 generation of the 911 is currently the most affordable variant of the rear engined sports car on the used market. The 2001 – 2004 996 Turbo is a very fast performance car, even when compared to modern sports cars and because it is turbocharged, there are a number of tuning options.

What you get:

The 996 features a twin-turbocharged water-cooled flat-six offering 415 horses that push the 911 from 0-60 mph in just over 4 seconds. Somehow Porsche always seems to do a bit more with their horses. The 996 Turbo uses a strong Mezger engine that is pretty much built proof.

Other 996 variants (outside of the GT3 and GT2) have a known weakness in the IMS Bearing, that is known to cause an engine to grenade. The 996 Carrera has IMS retrofit options to deal with this issue, but the Turbo doesn’t require this.

The watch outs:

The Porsche 996 Turbo has a rev happy engine and it isn’t uncommon for people to hit the rev limiter. During a pre-purchase inspection the engine computer can be checked to make sure nobody had a bit too much fun that could cost you later. Other concerns include cam chain noise, which will sound like a high-pitched whirling. If this goes away after the car is warm, there is no immediate danger, but maintenance should be done to ensure the issue doesn’t get worse.

As with other cars of this period the interior has more of a plastic feel than newer or classic vehicles. Still the 996 interior does tend to hold up pretty well, even with parts that don’t look like they would.

Current market price range:

996 Turbo examples in good condition with reasonably low mileage will cost you between $35,000 – $60,000 depending on the year, mileage and condition.

1. Audi R8

The Audi R8 offers true baller status in a well-balanced mid-engined package. The Audi performance flagship model is available with both a V8 and a V10, but the 2008-2010 V8 is currently the most affordable option. The R8 doesn’t attract as much attention as a Ferrari, but it will still have other car enthusiasts taking notice.

What you get:

The earliest cars are powered by a 4.2-liter V8 planted mid-ship. The engine produces 414 horsepower which helps it go from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds.

The quality of the materials used are top notch. The cockpit is a pleasant place and the supercar is livable for both highway cruising and the track. Plus the manual transmission cars feature a gated shifter which takes you back to the golden age of supercars.

The watch outs:

The R8 has so far shown to be fairly bullet proof, especially in the world of supercars. Body damage repairs can be extremely expensive, so drive carefully and keep your insurance up to date.

Engine problems are few, but a handful of vehicles have had bottom-end bearing failure. Additionally oil lines have been known to rust occasionally and faulty ignition coils can cause misfires.

Current market price range:

Currently, there are a number of good we’ll maintained Audi R8 examples with under 45,000 miles on the odometer going from between $55,000 and $85,000 depending on the year, mileage and condition. We’ve even seen a few V10 R8s for sale for about $80,000.

There you have 5 Affordable Supercars with options for just about any budget.

Now head down to the comments and let us know which car you would choose or if we left one of your favorites off the list.

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